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Penn State Spring Stock Report: Trending Downward

Not long ago, Rob Bolden was a Strong Buy. But where does he stand heading into this summer? (BSD/Mike Pettigano)
Not long ago, Rob Bolden was a Strong Buy. But where does he stand heading into this summer? (BSD/Mike Pettigano)

In part two of our Spring Stock Report, I'll take you through three players whose stock has fallen from the time spring practice began in March until the Blue-White Game two weekends ago. In case you missed it yesterday, check out Chris's post on the players Trending Upward. - MVP

Curtis Dukes - This guy must really be kicking himself for slipping academically this spring. With Dukes out of drills and the spring game, not only has Bill Belton positioned himself as a very likely No. 2 back behind Silas Redd, but also Zach Zwinak took full advantage and should push for the No. 3 spot this summer.

It wasn't all that long ago we were talking about Redd/Dukes ripping apart opposing defenses in 2012 like they did against Iowa in 2011. But now Dukes, who started the off-season as the clear No. 2 back, is on the bottom rung looking up at the other three backs.

Kevin Haplea - Consider this a "relative" drop in stock, as Haplea didn't do anything that negatively affected his situation this spring. At the same time, however, he didn't do much above and beyond. In the new era of BOBfense, tight end will be one of the toughest positions to compete for the starting job. Garry Gilliam returned from his ACL injury and ran away with the starting job this spring. Jesse James is one of the most impressive freshmen tight ends since Andrew Quarless.

Haplea appeared to be just another tight end from the start of practice in March. He could very well break out in the summer. But right now, like Dukes (but for very different reasons), he's being pushed down the ladder.

Rob Bolden - Could it get any worse for Bolden? In a spring practice session where everyone wanted to see someone, anyone look remotely improved (or dare we say it: impressive?) over the last two years of quarterback play at Penn State, Bolden couldn't muster enough--even with the fresh start under BOB's staff--to at least cause onlookers to say "he's getting better." It's rough, because Matt McGloin hasn't really improved this spring, either. But the standards have always been set a bit easier for the walk-on than the former five-star.

Then there's Paul Jones, who's taken the fan base by storm, again. Remember 2010? Well, this time Jones will play in the fall to follow up his spring performance. If Bolden starts a game this fall, it will be under really good (he takes a huge leap during fall camp) or really bad (injuries, suspensions to the other QBs) circumstances. But right now, he's a laggard.

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